Sunday, August 23, 2015

Brand New and Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950's

Brand New and New and Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950's has been released to coincide with the artists exhibit of the same name at The Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine running from July 11, 2015 - October 18, 2015. The Colby College has a rotating collection of more than 800 works of his art and serves as a center for the study of Alex Katz's art.

Katz studied at the famed Cooper Union Art School in Manhattan, a prestigious institution for art, architecture and engineering.

To understand how unique and individual his style is, one only needs to look at the art scene during the 50's. Abstract Expressionism was indeed the prevailing style with artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns paving new ways of art methodology. Andy Warhol was just gearing up with his iconic Pop Art soon to come.

Alex's works of art were in opposition to the prevailing trends and his compositions, which included great portraiture, landscapes and still life's stood out upon a flat ground on which he always worked quickly, fluidly, with a direct purpose. never second guessing himself. Many of his works focused on his beloved and supportive wife Ada. 

Later, into the 60's Alex was influenced by film and advertising, thus going into both large scale painting and printmaking, producing a huge collection in lithography, woodcut, etching and silkscreen. He even became a set and costume designer for theatre in the 60's, painting many images of dancers in the following years.

"Rauschenberg Double"

"During this time,  (the 50's) my paintings were very concerned with the specific in contrast and in conjunction with the general. I was now interested in Manet and Kline. My paintings were of a particular person, at a particular time, in abstract form"

Since 1951 Alex's works have art have been featured in more than 250 exhibits worldwide and is in the permanent collections of more than 100 public art institutions.

This esteemed living painter has admitted to destroying a thousand paintings early in his career while finding his ultimate unique style. 

"Sara" painted in 2012

Please enjoy this small sampling of Mr. Katz's prolific works of art and do consider a purchase of the book for your library.

Brand New and Terrific: Alex Katz in the 1950's can be purchased at Amazon. Publicity copy and images courtesy of Anne Wu with Prestel Publishing and The Colby College Museum of Art.

Also a later work, "Alex at Cheat Lake", lithograph and photo offset in produced in seven colors.

Students touring the Paul J. Schupf Wing for the Works of Alex Katz at Colby College

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Linda @ a design snack said...

Thanks for the intro. I was not familiar with his work.

Kristen @ Pursuing Vintage said...

So neat! I love the portraits. The lithograph/photo offset is very cool and different. Thanks for sharing yet another great artist!

Vel Criste said...

Love it all especially "Sara"!

Segreto Secrets said...

Very nice. Applause for Colby College for the exhibit and for being the center for the study of Katz's work!! xo Leslie

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

I so love learning about wonderful artists here that I am not aware of...just love his artwork...

Preppy Empty Nester said...

Karena... every time I visit your site, I learn something. This artwork is amazing!

Taylor Greenwalt said...

Love his style...its different and has a graphic feel! I think this would appeal to a younger and older clientele.

therelishedroost said...

Love the simplicity of his work yet each image makes you think about it! xo K

Casa Très Chic said...

Love his art, I´m a huge fan.
Thanks for sharing.
Have a nice week.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good evening dearest Karena! I am a bit late these days now that school has begun, but I think this art is TERRIFIC. There is a certain simplicity, a certain light and honesty about this work that I love, reminding me of my childhood. Gorgeous colors too!

Thank you as well for coming to visit my post. LOVE TO YOU! Anita

Dean Farris said...

Great post!
Have always loved the work of Alex Katz. It's interesting to compare his style to that of David Hockney- Another favorite artist

Dean Farris

Stacy CUrran said...

I adore Katz' work. It's heartbreaking to think he destroyed over 1000 paintings. Great post Karena!

designchic said...

You always introduce me to the best new artists! Love the one that covers the wall. Happy Thursday!

Unknown said...

Hi Karena,
I found your blog through Mark Sikes' and I love it!
I'm a interior and architectural illustrator, so it is fun to find other blogs that are on similar subjects!
Thanks for sharing Katz' work-- I have always loved him! I had no idea the Colby was so central in the study of his work! I applied there when I was in the college search!
I will look forward to future posts!
Feel free to check out my site and blog as well--

pve design said...

Really admire his use of color and shape. He has an amazing eye and his work is fresh!
Love it-

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